HomeThe Best Paint ColoursColoursThe 12 Best Paint COLORS to Update or Accent Oak or Wood (PART 5)!

The 12 Best Paint COLORS to Update or Accent Oak or Wood (PART 5)!

Posted on February 12, 2024 by KylieMawdsley
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BLUE, GREEN, & MORE for wood trims, cabinets, & floors

When it comes to updating and painting a room with wood cabinets, trim, flooring, or furniture, it all comes down to your INTENTION.

  • Do you want to soften the effect of your wood finish – even slightly camouflage it?
  • Do you want to ‘accent’ or complement your wood and make it come to life? 
  • Or maybe, you’re somewhere in the middle. 

If you want to UPDATE your home, and it’s not an OLD home (eg. built in the last 50 years), your best bet is often with neutral paint colors. However, some homes (regardless of age), as well as many older homes do well with a paint color with a little personality.

This is why we’re here today – to look at colors that will bring your wood finish to life, either with a wee wink of color or something more daring – it’s up to you which hue you choose (other than Hugh Hefner, he’s not on today’s menu).

Now, you CAN get a reasonable amount of contrast between neutrals and wood finishes, especially as it relates to light colors and cool colors. As shown in this photo below, the warm neutral in the entryway contrasts with the orange wood trim and floors because the paint color is so light…

It’s the DEPTH of the color that offers contrast – not the temperature…

Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground with orange toned wood trim, stairs and flooring. Best warm neutral paint colors. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

On the other hand, you get a different type of contrast when you compare the wood trim (fir) to the blue on the walls closest to you – equally as pretty, just a different approach to contrast!

So, if you want neutral walls, not colored ones, I have a great blog post for you to read…The 20 Best Neutral Paint Colors to Go With Oak or Wood

However, if you’re here for some serious COLOR, let’s keep going.

 

WHAT COLORS ACCENT WOOD?

As shown above, some neutrals can accent wood tones, depending on their depth and temperature. However, it’s more popular to accent wood trims, cabinets, and floors with COLOR. But if you were hoping for shades of yellow, orange, and red, you’re reading the wrong blog post.

Why?

Other than the odd gray-wash wood (which can pick up cooler tones of violet and blue), wood finishes are mostly warm-toned, with red, orange, and yellow undertones. Whether you’re dealing with honey oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, or pine (or ANY wood) if you pair it with warm tones like yellow, orange, and red, you risk BLENDING your wood rather than accenting it. So for today’s purpose, we’re focusing on beautiful shades of blue, and glorious greens, along with a few slightly more subtle shades with neutral roots.

Check out this dining room below. The warm neutral on the walls (Benjamin Moore Great Plains) works if the homeowners want a lower contrast look…

Benjamin Moore Great Plains, medium beige tan paint color, tray ceiling, high, traditional oak dining set and buffet hutch, wood floor dark. Kylie M

Now look what happens if we toss a little green in there…

dining room sherwin williams olive grove green with craftsman style dining furniture.

And I didn’t even do a COOL green which would pop even more. Instead, I chose a warm, earthy shade of green (Benjamin Moore Passion Vine).

As for this next image, I wouldn’t ever put this color with these drapes, but it shows you how a cooler, stronger blue-green pops with the wood furniture…

dining room with teal walls and wood hutch

Again, it all comes down to your INTENTIONS, do you want to soften your wood (no pun intended) or do you want to accent it? 

So, without further ado, let’s get this color party started!

 

1. BENJAMIN MOORE OCTOBER MIST 1495

When it comes to the most popular shades of green, particularly those that are a bit lighter, it’s hard to beat October Mist.

While it has a bit more meat on its bones than typical light shades of green, October Mist has such a great, organic vibe that contrasts so nicely with a wide range of white trims, as well as wood finishes…

Benjamin Moore October Mist, best shade of green paint color on walls, Extra White trim, color of the year. Kylie M Online paint color expert advice

October Mist is also an interesting option as while it’s a warm green, it doesn’t go as yellow as many other shades, and can even look a bit cool in comparison to them.

You can see how pretty October Mist is with the above red-orange stained table, while also being amazeballs with the grayed-out, tone of the wood-detailed headboard below…

Benjamin Moore October Mist in guest bedroom with upholstered neutral fabric headboard and linens. Best green for bedrooms

 

2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS RETREAT SW 620

Retreat has hit the streets hard and is one of the most popular greens right now. What’s so appealing about Retreat is that while it’s a bit cool, the blue doesn’t really show up to the party, leaving you with a muted, green-gray look on your walls…

Small dining room with buffet, dark green paint color, Sherwin Williams Retreat, wood cabinet, marble table top. Kylie M, online paint color expert

Plus, Retreat’s subtly cool backdrop makes it a great contrasting color to a wide range of wood stains – everything from yellow-orange, and orange-pink, to red and pink!

You’ll also see Sherwin Williams Pewter Green popping up a lot, which is like a darker take on Retreat. If you go a bit lighter than Retreat, you hit Sherwin Williams Acacia Haze.

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Retreat

 

3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS SEA SALT SW 6204

Sea Salt is a stunner and a great complement to most woods for a fun, fresh look. Sea Salt is a light-toned green blend with a gray-blue undertone to calm it down. Because it’s a cool shade it will accent your wood stain, but having a degree of gray in it keeps things a wink more subtle.

Look at how Sea Salt contrasts with the dark violet undertone of these espresso wood cabinets and dark-stained oak floors…

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, green blue paint color, dark wood floors and cabinets, stainless steel, white trim

Because the wood in the above space isn’t OVERLY colorful and that bit muted itself, it doesn’t overreact with a cool color like Sea Salt.

Sea Salt has an LRV of 63, parking it right in my happy place. However, as far as green-grays go, it’s super unpredictable, looking a bit greener in one room and quite COMMITTEDLY blue in another! Read ALL about Sea Salt in its color review.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in home office, kids homework room with gallery wall. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, client photo

You’ll also find that Sea Salt isn’t too fussy about which wood stains it goes with as it can humor a wide range of yellow, orange, red, and pink hues.

It’s also important to COMPARE COMPARE COMPARE – never pick a color without looking at similar shades. And while Sea Salt is a color unto itself, for a similar (but tweaked) approach, check out Benjamin Moore’s Quiet Moments, Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray, and Silver Strand. If you want a bit more color, Sherwin Williams Rainwashed is stunning.

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

 

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4. BENJAMIN MOORE KNOXVILLE GRAY HC-160

While Knoxville Gray might look a bit intimidating and dark in the fan deck, HOLY HECK is it ever stunning in real life!

Knoxville Gray is a very solid, medium-depth blue-green blend. However, it does have a noticeable dollop of gray calming it down – not enough that it lives up to the name Knoxville GRAY, but it gives it a more organic, earth-toned look. Check it out in this home office…

Benjamin Moore Texas Leather and Knoxville Gray, wood trim orange stained wood cabinets and floor.

How to Update Wood Cabinets: 4 PART SERIES

In the above home, Knoxville Gray is partnered with Benjamin Moore Texas Leather (also known as Stampede). Both of these colors are wicked pretty with the orange-stained wood trims and cabinets in this home.

With its LRV of 15.68, Knoxville Gray isn’t joking around – it’s got some serious meat on its bones. But while it’s in the medium-dark range, its degree of color (chroma) helps it show up, even in a darker space.

Here’s another good look at Knoxville Gray in all her glory…

Benjamin Moore Knoxville Gray, best blue green gray blend with wood floors, accent color. Kylie M ONline paint color consulting

Notice how well she plays with the orange-red stain of the wood floor without being overly punchy or super ‘teal’.

 

Get the Online Paint Color Expert that DESIGNERS hire!

Ideas to update your home with Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams best paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy online paint colour consultant. Market

 

5. BENJAMIN MOORE IMPERIAL GRAY 1571

Imperial Gray is a gorgeous blend of blue-green and gray, creating a soothing, calming combination with many wood tones. And while it’s a bit grayer than many of the colors on this page, it still has enough color to contrast with a ton of wood finishes…

Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray, wood dresser, neutral sofa, drapes, home decor, best blue green gray blend paint color

In the above photo, you can see how beautiful the blue-green paint color looks with the red stain on the dresser. However, you’ll find that these types of colors can be equally as stunning with yellow and orange-stained woods.

Here’s Imperial Gray in the same room, just at a different angle, shown with more orange-stained wood…

Benjamin Moore Silver Satin warm gr

Make sure you compare Imperial Gray to other, similar shades, to see which is best for your space. Check out Benjamin Moore Beach Glass, Gray Wisp, and Sherwin Williams Argos.

The 18 Best Blue and Green Paint Colors for Bedrooms

 

6. BENJAMIN MOORE ANTIQUE PEWTER 1560

Whether you’re painting kitchen cabinets, an accent wall, or an entire room, Antique Pewter is a gorgeous approach to green…

Maritime White, beige on walls, Benjamin Moore White Dove painted maple upper cabinets, green lower cabinets, Antique Pewter, cathedral style, white quartz.

Antique Pewter is a warm green, as rather than having a gray undertone, it has a greige one – giving it a subtle warmth without flashing too much olive green.

Remember, it’s not just about accenting your wood cabinets, trims, and floors with wall colors. Be sure to explore color on your kitchen cabinets, island, underwear, bathroom vanity, and even the inside of your front door!

The 15 Best Medium to Dark Green Paint Colors

 

7. BENJAMIN MOORE HALE NAVY HC-154

There’s something to be said for poppin’ that wood stain with a wicked dark shade of navy blue. And when I’m looking for that true blue hue, my first stop is usually Benjamin Moore Hale Navy…

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy with orange stain on wood trim, and leather sectional. Beige carpet, great accent wall color. Kylie M ONline paint color consulting

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Hale Navy isn’t messing around with its depth and saturation. However, it does have a bit of a gray backdrop, stopping it from looking like a primary blue, which can be overwhelming for the average home.

And it doesn’t need to look maritime or naval-inspired. Hale Navy is a great transitional shade of blue thanks to its lack of real commitment to blue-green or blue-violet.

This being said, with its LRV of 8.36, Hale Navy can be a bit too dark for rooms that don’t get at least a moderate amount of light. In this case, you might also check out Newburyport Blue

South facing room, Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue, orange stained wood trim and bedroom furniture. Beige carpet. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Just look at her poppin’ with that orange-red wood stain! LOVE IT!

Here’s Sherwin Williams Bunglehouse Blue with Benjamin Moore Ballet White walls, wood cabinets, and trim with a red undertone…

Door painted Sherwin Williams Bunglehouse Blue, walls White Duck, oak wood cabinets, wood trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy subway tile backsplash, laminate countertop

The 13 Best Navy Blue Paint Colors

The dark wood trim and cabinets (above) contrast with the off-white neutral on the walls (via the difference in DEPTH) as well as the blue of the door (via the difference in color TEMPERATURE)!

 

8. BENJAMIN MOORE STRATTON BLUE HC-142

While Wythe Blue and Palladian Blue get a lot of attention, there’s something to be said for Stratton Blue (also known as Del Mar Blue). While they all share a love of blue-green with a dose of gray for luck, Stratton Blue has a bit more depth with its LRV of 37.77.

As shown in this dining room (adjoining room painted Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray, 25% lighter), Stratton Blue offers a wicked contrast with white trim. It also lets wood finishes come to life, especially those wood tones that are a bit more muted to start with…

Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue, wainscoting in dining room dark wood furniture, vintage style. Best blue green paint colour. Kylie M Edesign. Edgecomb in hallway

And of course, you know that comparing is one of the most important parts of sampling paint colors the right way. To start, compare Stratton Blue with Sherwin Williams Quietude, Halycon Green, and you might even check out the more earthy, grayed-out look of Benjamin Moore Raindance.

The 13 Best Blue-Green Blend Paint Colors

 

9. BENJAMIN MOORE FERNWOOD GREEN 2145-40

Again, it can be hard to go wrong with green. Fernwood Green is a warm green paint color with JUST enough of a neutral base to calm it down while leaving a GORGEOUS green hue on the walls!

Green paint colour similar to Benjamin Moore Fernwood Green, dark red cherry bedroom furniture. Kylie M Interiors CLIENT BEFORE PHOTO (1)

As shown in the photo above, woods with a red or pink undertone can look stunning with green paint colors. However, I also love how yellow-orange-toned woods look equally as much.

And because you never want to choose a paint color based on how it looks with itself, compare it to these similar shades: Benjamin Moore Soft Fern, Benjamin Moore Guilford Green, and Sherwin Williams Grassland.

The Best Green Paint Colors

 

10. SHERWIN WILLIAMS GRIS SW 7659

Admittedly, Gris should be in the Top 20 NEUTRAL Paint Colors With Wood Finishes blog post, not this one, but as with my obsession with Cornuts and white wine, I couldn’t help myself.

Gris is a medium-depth shade of GRAY. However, its saving grace for the sake of this blog post is that it has a decent whack of blue and green in it, giving it a wink of personality without hitting the more colorful end of things.

Best white paint colour, Benjamin Moore Super White, foyer with Sherwin Gris front door, white oak flooring, built-in bench. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

I have MAD LOVE for this color with any number of wood stains! 

I highly recommend comparing Gris with Sherwin Williams Mineral Deposit, Magnetic Gray, and the ever-lovely Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray.

 

11. BENJAMIN MOORE PROVIDENCE BLUE 1636 (CHARLOTTE SLATE)

If you love the idea of Knoxville Gray but find it a touch too heavy, you have to check out Providence Blue…

Benjamin Moore Providence Blue, Charcoal Slate in bedroom with beige tan carpet, wood trim and decor. Kylie M Interiors best blue green paint colors and update

As shown with the orange-stained wood trim in the above guest bedroom, Providence Blue has a decent amount of green in it, while still catering to blue. And while it has some gray in it, it has more color than Knoxville Gray – more color = more contrast!

 

12. BENJAMIN MOORE ABALONE 2108-60

There are a few reasons I didn’t hit violet in this blog post, but the main reason is that almost NONE of my Online Color Consulting clients ask for purple! However, this doesn’t mean that YOU’RE not craving a little infusion of violet.

I’m hittin’ it subtle with Benjamin Moore Abalone. This is a warm gray-violet, so while it has purple in it, it’s not a purple-centric color at all…

Benjamin-Moore-Abalone-gray-warm-greige-paint-colour-with-purple-undertones.-HOme-staging-tips-and-ideas

Abalone looks STUNNING with red-stained woods that lean a bit into violet, like the above headboard, but can also handle some yellow-orange and orange-pink stains.

If you want a bit more purple, I’ve got it – but you have to go to this blog post to get it!

READ MORE – LEARN MORE! 

5 Ideas to Update Oak Cabinets – (PART 1)

MORE Ideas to Update Your Wood Cabinets – WITHOUT a Drop of Paint! (PART 2)

The Best Hardware to Update Wood Cabinets (PART 3)

The 20 Best NEUTRAL Paint Colors to Update Wood Trims & Cabinets (PART 4)

How to Coordinate Different Wood Stains and Finishes

Should You Paint Your Cabinets – A Questionnaire

 

Get the Online Paint Color Expert that DESIGNERS hire!

Online paint colour expert, Kylie M Interiors, Edesigns using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams popular paint colors. Market

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign

 

 



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